Armin Laschet, King Of Comebacks Grasping For Merkel Throne
Sumaira FH 2 months ago Tue 20th April 2021 | 05:40 PM
Berlin, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Apr, 2021 ) :Armin Laschet had looked down and out in the race to succeed Angela Merkel as Germany's next chancellor, facing dismal public approval ratings and ridicule over his inconsistent virus management.
But the affable Merkel loyalist staged a stunning comeback to be confirmed on Tuesday as the conservative candidate for chancellor in this year's election, beating popular favourite Markus Soeder.
Leading the CDU and the CSU, its smaller Bavarian sister party, into the general election on September 26 will be a gargantuan task, with the parties facing dismal ratings amid anger over Germany's faltering pandemic management.
Laschet is also deeply unpopular with the public himself, with just 12 percent of Germans saying they thought he would be a good chancellor candidate in one recent survey for business daily Handelsblatt.
The 60-year-old political moderate with a reputation for pragmatism has an uncanny ability to "sit out his opponents", the magazine noted.
"He does not aim for a quick knockout, but wears down his opponents slowly, continuously, with great endurance." - Flip-flopping - He also outperformed the polls to deliver a strong performance for the CDU last year in a regional election in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where he is state premier.
Laschet defended North Rhine-Westphalia's broad interpretation of national virus measures, calling for "more freedom and flexibility".
He was also panned on social media for saying he needed time to "think about" how to deal with Germany's raging third wave, and accused of flip-flopping when he called for a "bridge lockdown" until more people were vaccinated.
The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung has noted that he is seen as "indecisive, sometimes acting impulsively".
A sworn defender of multiculturalism, he has a reputation for being even more pro-migration than Merkel.
"When you're down in the mine, it doesn't matter where your colleague comes from, what his religion is or what he looks like. What is important is, can you rely on him," he said.
A fluent French speaker and self-described "passionate European", he was elected to the Bundestag in 1994 and to the European Parliament in 1999.